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Archive for Thursday, April 22, 2004

Briefcase

April 22, 2004

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Airlines reduce losses, increase leisure fares

American Airlines and Northwest Airlines reported narrower first-quarter losses on Wednesday, but both carriers struggled with higher jet fuel prices.

Shares of American's parent, AMR Corp., soared by 9 percent, and other airline stocks also gained on the news.

Airliners are flying more full, helped by what officials called a budding recovery in business travel. But intense price competition, led by low-fare rivals, has capped revenue.

Northwest raised fares on most U.S. leisure fares by 3 percent Tuesday night. Delta matched the increase, and industry experts said it appeared United and US Airways were doing the same.

Above, American Airlines jets taxi at New York's Laguardia Airport.

Wichita

Boeing, engineers agree to mediation

With contract talks stalled between Boeing Co. and the company's second largest union in Wichita, negotiators on both sides agreed Wednesday to bring in a mediator to help hammer out a deal.

The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace -- which narrowly survived a decertification vote in February -- requested a mediator to help break the impasse and secure what it felt was an acceptable offer for 3,400 workers at the company's Wichita plant. Boeing agreed.

Boeing's technical and professional workers last month rejected the company's "final" contract offer on a 904-319 vote.

Nonbinding talks with a mediator are scheduled to begin Monday.

Investigation

Computer Associates executive steps down

With his company tangled in an accounting investigation that has already produced four guilty pleas, Sanjay Kumar was forced to resign Wednesday as chairman and chief executive of Computer Associates International Inc.

After running the company for four years, Kumar, 42, stepped down from his executive positions and the board of directors. He will stay on in a new position of chief software architect.

Computer Associates' lead outside director, Lewis Ranieri, is taking over as chairman.

The company, a $3 billion maker of software for corporate computing systems, is being investigated by federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission for misrepresenting the timing of contracts in order to meet Wall Street's quarterly expectations.

Wall Street

Serologicals profits up

Serologicals Corp. announced on Wednesday that it posted first quarter profits of 11 cents per share, up from 8 cents per share in the same period a year ago. The biosciences company is in the process of opening a new manufacturing facility in the East Hills Business Park.

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